Sky News Punjab
March 31, 2021
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll and is facing the biggest crisis of his presidency after the heads of the army, navy and air force all quit.
The unprecedented resignation of the defence chiefs is being seen as a protest at attempts by Mr Bolsonaro to exert undue control over the military.
Mr Bolsonaro’s popularity has plummeted over his response to Covid-19.
Nearly 314,000 people have died, with a new daily record of 3,780 on Tuesday.
What’s the situation with Covid?
Worldwide, Brazil has the second highest number of total confirmed Covid cases with more than 12.6m. Only the United States has had more.
On 17 March, when the daily death toll stood at 2,286, the Brazilian public health institute Fiocruz warned the health system was close to collapse,
More than 80% of intensive care unit beds were occupied in the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states, Fiocruz said.
President Bolsonaro has consistently opposed lockdown measures, arguing that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the coronavirus itself.
He has also told Brazilians to “stop whining” about the situation.
But last week, Mr Bolsonaro, who has previously raised doubts about vaccines and defended unproven drugs as treatment, said that he would make 2021 the year of vaccinations. “Very soon we’ll resume our normal lives,” he said.
So far Brazil has vaccinated just over 8% of the population, with some 17.7m vaccine doses dispensed.